Sunday, March 30, 2008

Travel Plans?

I was bit by the travel bug a few months ago. Excited by the replenishing of my vacation time at work, and very much looking forward to warmer weather, I started thinking about what exciting locale we might travel to this summer. Where do I want to go? Where have I been?

I was torn between a week in Chicago or, by contrast, Bar Harbor, Maine. We've never been to either of these places, and I came very close to clicking on the "Purchase This Package" button multiple times on more than one travel website. My finger started trembling each time I attempted the click. Why could I not commit to these plans? I was forced to explore this question.

Our lives have been pretty crazy throughout the past year or so - new apartment, new spouses, grad school, new jobs, family illness, attempts to grow into a family of three, and questioning our geographical location while examining house-buying options. While all of this would seem to be good cause for a vacation, it seems to be working against us right now. We want to save the money that would allow us to be more mobile, and we also desperately need a week of no-work, and no-plans. So, that has become our new plan this June. In fact, I have realized that John has not ever had the opportunity to explore my hometown area for longer than a three-day weekend. So, the plan is to kick-off our vacation week with the Relay for Life in Pittsfield, and then explore the Berkshires - something I have not been able to do, myself, in many years.

The same week that I graduated from MassArt, I traveled to China and Japan as part of an Art and Architecture class. Since I already had my degree in hand, I didn't need the class credits. Finding a job, rather than completing the final project for this class, was my priority upon returning home. However, I did propose a project idea to the instructor: I was struck by how many photos I took on my trip - I was so alert to every detail at each location we visited (holding a camera in my hands always causes my eyes to open to everything in my path, as though it's a second set of eyes).

Just some Chinese door?

Just a Chinese lunch?

For my project, I wanted to bring this same level of awareness to a photography project at a location with which I am overly familiar (Boston, Pittsfield, my backyard, my workplace), where I ignore and under-appreciate the little things that, together, define a place. I never started this project (but I did find a job!).

When I first decided to attend art school, I had planned to major in photography. It is my hope that my own (long) post here will inspire me to revisit my passion for the camera, and to re-realize the volume of exploration that can be done in the most familiar surroundings. (Hmmm...I need a good title for these photo explorations - any ideas?)

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